Soros, en 1993 fundó el Open Society Institute, cuyó sistema de financiamientos pasó a ser una estructura global y denominarse Open Society Foundations. La sociedad abierta (open society) tomó forma de movimiento financiero, cuyo fin es promover acciones de desentabilización en los países que tienen gobiernos progresistas e izquierda.
En el 2011, Carlos Fernando Chamorro Barrios, director del Centro de Investigación de las Comunicaciones, CINCO, recibió de Open Society Found, 140 mil dólares para financiar por un año uno de sus proyectos, denominado “Ciudadanos y Elecciones”.
Lo anterior se conoció en una serie de documentos que nos hicieron llegar personas allegadas a CINCO donde se revela la voracidad por acaparar fondos del exterior por parte de Chamorro Barrios y compañía.
NARRATIVE MID REPORT
CINCO “Citizens and Elections” in Nicaragua
I-- PROMEDIA: Voz y Voto TV
- Under “Citizens and Elections” project, submitted by CINCO (Centro de Investigaciones de la Comunicación) and aproved by Open Society Fund, a total of $28,000.00 were allocated to overhaul technical equipment and production facilties at PROMEDIA, so that its production department would be able to fulfill the endeavor of producing coverage of the 2011 electoral campaign.
- Two independent field production units were abilitated with solid state memory cameras and all required accesories.
- Purchase of first unit was timed so that items could be brought in country by a colleague on a business related trip, to reduce shipping & handling expenses. Purchase of second production unit required an ex profeso trip, so that items could be brought in as personal luggage. This measure allow us to by-pass costly and time-consuming bureaucracy at customs. Bear in mind all government agencies hinder the work of institutions like ours whenever possible.
- From the time we submitted proposal to the actual moment of performing the purchases, prices fluctuated on several items. This is a very common phenomenon in the professional video market. Similarly, some items were discontinued, or upgraded for different models. Different needs became evident as newer equipment was brought in. We requested changes on items included on initial budget, which were approved by OSI. We must stress that no additional monies were requested, and we remained within the limits of approved budget.
- A cross-media platform identified by the name “Voz y Voto” (Voice & Vote) was designed to output electoral coverage to the public, through our stablished media outlets. Logos and video animations were produced through a free-lance designer. “Voz y Voto” was introduced to our audience on the month of april, through our two television programs, “Esta Semana” and “Esta Noche”.
- Since april, 9 segments have been produced for “Esta Semana”, including Focus Groups with citizens from all walks of life, stories related to the electoral process and interviews analyzing poll results with experts and analysts. 3 Focus groups were produced on the following subjects: Trust on electoral authorities, young voters, and voters from rural aereas. 5 stories were produced: how parties choose their candidates; in-party fights over parliament candidacies; irregularities on the electoral-IDing process; a campaign day with Fabio Gadea, executing his strategy to win over the liberal vote; the illegal spread of FSLN propaganda on government institutions. 1 interview with political analysts going over the results of an independent poll performed by M&R.
- Since april, 5 shows of “Esta Noche” have been dedicated to electoral issues such as the fight for independent observation and the analysis of poll results: First reports on electoral process observation; presentation of CID GALLUP independent poll; report from “Ética y Transparencia” identifying 1,284 voting stations prone to fraud; update on electoral observation with main local agencies; considerations on the voter verification process.
- Content released by the “Voz y Voto” platform has been feeding electoral coverage on assorted media sources, and generating public debate through electronic media outlets. Its the main trans-media strategy of electoral coverage.
- An amount of $26,009.06 (Twenty Nine Thousand and Nine Dollars and Six Cents) have been executed. An amount of $1,990.94 (One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety Dollars with Ninety Four Cents) is yet to be executed to cover expenses of studio improvements.
II—Confidencial: “Voz y Voto” website
On monday, june 6, the “Voz y Voto” (Voice and Vote) platform was released on Confidencial Digital's webpage, as well as through the TV show “Esta Noche”, broadcasted through Chanel 12 on open-air television, on prime time schedule.
The release was the high point of an intense work process that began since the month of may. With Confidencial's design team, we worked on a portal page as entry point of the “Voz y Voto” platform. The new graphic scheme was translated into a new content management programation.
On the month of may, we collected all data regarding candidate lists for national and departamental parliamentaries, as well as Central American Parliament candidates from all parties and alliances running on the 2011 elections. Brief reviews of each presidential candidate were written. We invited 25 analysts and experts on different disciplines, to write and publish regularly on our website on electoral topics.
Previously to the release of the platform, advances were made coordinating efforts with nicaraguan civil society organizations, that will perform observation duties throughout the electoral process to identify processes and aereas sensible to mutual colaboration. These organizations are Ética y Transparencia; Hagamos Democracia; and the Instituto para el Desarrollo, IPADE. Each of them have their own webpage and will develop different processes of observation, based on their structures and volunteer networks.
On the platform, the following aereas have been prioritized:
1. Electoral Observation: fed on periodical reviews from previously identified organizations, as well as data provided by “Esta Semana” and “Esta Noche” TV shows.
2. On the Campaign Trail: based on chronicles and stories produced by the journalistic teams of “Confidencial” and “Esta Semana” portraying different candidates, specially those heading the opinion polls and vote intention polls. This section will gain stenght once the campaign officially starts on august 20, 2011.
3. Citizen's Debate, fed on reports of irregularities submitted by citizenship, civil society organization and national observers. To promote a culture of fiscalization, we'll perform debates and interviews with citizens on the subjects that should be addressed by candidates durign the campaign.
4. Parties and candidates, the first step has been to post the list of national and departamental parliament candidates, as well as those of the Central American Parliament. Similarly, brief briographies of presidential candidates. Next, government programs will be submitted through a critical analysis process.
Other sections highlighted include: Video (street interview segments, focus groups, tv shows), polls (analyzing results of opinion polls) y political humor (cartoons).
Facing the beginning of the electoral campaign, the 20th of august, “Voz y Voto” digital platform is ready to take on its role to coordinate the joint efforts of “Voz y Voto” TV on “Esta Semana” and “Esta Noche”.
The “Voz y Voto” website rises a lot of interest in the public at large, and has become an ideal setting for virtual debate, as well as a source of information easily shared over social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. It also feeds on the coverage of traditional media, such as TV and print.
III- CINCO: research and analysis
- Participation in conceptual design of “Voz y Voto” platform. Our investigative team worked in all work sessions accompanying Confidencial Digital's team, in order to define main components of platform, such as format, content, frequency and definition of particular support from CINCO's team, in the form of a series of articles of political analysis based on topics realtes to the campaign.
- Performing the study “Independent Voters in Nicaragua: Undecided citizens and those without political party sympathy on 2011 Elections”. The study has been conceived in several stages. The first one, consisted on settling down a national baseline on the subject. The main objective is to characterize independent voters, get to know their interpretation on certain aspects of the country's political life and get to know their vote intentions for the 2011 elections.
When creating the baseline, CINCO's team performed on both design of fields of observation and questionare used on national poll, as well as preparation work of focus groups. During the gathering of information phase, CINCO oversaw all activities to ensure quality of results.
Afterwards, once the consulting company employed to perform the poll and focus groups delivered preliminary results, information was processed and analyzed. CINCO rendered a report on baseline results. They also participated actively in activities designed to present results to public opinion society at large on a press conference on July 14 and during a television broadcast on July 17 in Esta Semana.
According to the report independent voters account for 33% of the electorate. 34.4% has decided to vote, 35.1% does not plan to vote and almost 30% is undecided. Taking into account only those independents who will vote, incumbent candidate Daniel Ortega obtain 15.5% of the vote, and opposition candidate Fabio Gadea 10%, Arnoldo Aleman 1.% while the rest is either undecided or will not vote.
On following phases, we contemplate performing two more polls and a series of interviews withe the cinnancial support of the National Democratic Institute (NDI). CINCO's team will revise the questionaire to be used on each poll, as well as perform the interviews. Finally, we'll process data and render due reports on results.